Stella Julianna and the New Autumn Jumper

 

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I like living here with Mama.  I wonder what I will get to do next.

Stella Julianna glanced up from reading her book, Heather Bells.  She was contemplating her cozy life since she came to live with her Mama, Miss Jennie.  Many days, she played and daydreamed by herself.  She had toys and books just her size, and she loved snuggling and pretending with the soft animals, especially her giraffe and the very soft lamb.  She also liked listening to stories from the antique dolls.  Miss Ruby always had a tale about her adventures in New England last summer, and the older dolls reverently told about long-ago times when they lived with little girls who were all grown up and gone away now.

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I was SO excited to go on this special doll outing with Mama!

Then there were the special times with Mama!  Julianna knew that she wouldn’t catch a wink of sleep the night before the Portland Doll and Teddy Bear Show in January!  She just knew there would be lots of things for her to look at there.  When the day came, she had ever so much fun!  She was admired by many people there, and even tried on a dress to help the mama of another Stella who hadn’t come to the show.  With Mama’s help, she found a sweet felt dolly for herself, hats, and oh, so many dresses!

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My felt dolly is just the right vintage for me!  (1930’s)  And looky my new clothes and hats!  A polka dot party dress, a shamrock dress, a summer dress, a flannel nightgown, and even fancy dresses!

When she came home, Stella Julianna dreamed of lavender scented summer breezes when she could wear her new “Patsy” dress from the 1930’s, and play with the ducklings as they waddled over the lawn from their nearby pond.

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Will everyone think I’m a china lady too?

While the weather was cold and rainy, Stella Julianna played fancy dress with her growing wardrobe.

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Mama brought me this one from Hawaii before I came to live here.  She must think I’m Miss Coconut Queen.  But I’m really a mermaid!

 

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This dress is much more comfortable.  All it needs is a blue ribbon belt.  (Hear that Mama?) Now, what to do–work or play?  Oh!  I know!  Laundry can wait for nice weather.  I’m playing Noah’s Ark!

Springtime came before she could say “Spring Freshet on Plum Creek,” and Julianna was wearing her pretty floral “Patsy” dress, admiring the Bleeding Hearts.

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Going barefoot is the best!–and my lamb really IS the softest of all.

All summer long, Stella Julianna played and daydreamed.  She hoped that she would get to travel soon, like Miss Ruby did.  Mama told her that maybe when the next winter was over, a trip would present itself.  Then, the days began to shorten, and the nights became deliciously cool for blankets on the bed again.  Mama told Julianna it was time to make her a new Autumn dress.

 

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Mama thought I would pick the blue flowers on the feedsack fabric, but I surprised her!  I want the green with bright bits fabric!  The purple flowers fabric behind me is the Gibson Girl blouse Mama is making for herself, but she stopped on it to make my new dress for Autumn.

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The first thing was to sew new stockings.  I got two new pair–red for the Autumn Jumper, and blue stripes for another time.  Which do you like best?

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My small clothes are all finished.  Thank you Holly Hobbie for sharing your pattern–only a few alterations were needed.  Next comes the fun part–the jumper! 

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Isn’t it just splendid!  Even a beret with an antique green thistle button!

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The back of me shows my matching hair bow.  Of course you know, every Stella dress needs a hair bow.

Now that Stella Julianna had a warm and comfortable jumper for autumn, she could settle into the cozy indoors for her lessons.

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Mama thinks I can learn better at home, and I’m glad because I like it here best of all.  I will study reading, writing, arithmetic, science, geography, history, cultures, ecology, art, music, poetry, spirituality, and handicrafts . . .  Oh, so many things to learn about! I like best when I can curl up with a cup of cambric tea and my favorite Laura Ingalls or Beatrix Potter book.

Julianna was glad to have so many things to learn about, and a new jumper to wear while learning.  She hoped that there would be new discoveries, and maybe even travels, to tell about soon.

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Stella Julianna Comes Home

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Ever since Stella Julianna could remember, she wanted to live on the West Coast by the ocean. When her Artist Mother, Connie Lowe, had her all ready, Julianna was excited that she was going to live with her new mother, Miss Jennie. Miss Connie helped her pick out just the right 1930’s dress with a cotton boll print, Mary Jane shoes, a soft pink coat, and her Steiff duck to keep her company on her travels.

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Stella Julianna traveled all the way from east of the Mississippi River all by herself! She was snug in her “box berth” wrapped in a soft cotton quilt. She mostly slept, and the trip lasted only a few days.

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She was a little bit startled when she emerged from her slumber and found herself in her new home.

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She came out cautiously, keeping her duck companion close, and looked all around. There were so many lady dolls around! Stella Julianna hoped that they would be kind and friendly, and not boss her around since she was just a young girl.

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Miss Jennie reached for her and reassured her that all the dolls were well behaved, though some were a little spirited sometimes. She said that Stella Julianna would fit right in, and that they would have lots of fun playing and making new clothes.

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And then Julianna spotted a baby giraffe who was new in the home, too, from FAO  Schwartz. She reached over to comfort the shy creature. “Can he be my special pet?” she asked Miss Jennie. Then she knew that she was going to be very happy in her new home!

Deression era girl barefoot with schoolbook and lunchpail

Connie Lowe, who is an antique doll collector and doll artist, created Stella, a 20″ BJD (ball jointed doll) in the image of children in Depression Era America. I fell in love with Stella because, though she is not antique, she has such a wonderful persona of a child from a bygone era. Being a new doll, and a BJD, she has such potential for posing, play, and dressing creatively in period appropriate outfits. I am so glad that Stella Julianna is here with me now. Thank you Connie!